Can Blockchain Strengthen the Internet of Things?

  • Authors: Kshetri, Nir
  • IT Professional
  • 2017
  • DOI: 10.1109/MITP.2017.3051335


© 2016 IEEE. This column evaluates blockchain's roles in strengthening security in the Internet of Things (IoT). Key underlying mechanisms related to the blockchain-IoT security nexus are covered. From a security standpoint, the article highlights how blockchain-based solutions could be, in many aspects, superior to the current IoT ecosystem, which relies mainly on centralized cloud servers. Using practical applications and real-world examples, the article argues that blockchain's decentralized nature is likely to result in a low susceptibility to manipulation and forgery by malicious participants. Special consideration is given to how blockchain-based identity and access management systems can address some of the key challenges associated with IoT security. The column provides a detailed analysis and description of blockchain's roles in tracking the sources of insecurity in supply chains related to IoT devices. Using blockchain, it is also possible to contain an IoT security breach in a targeted way after it is discovered. The column also discusses and evaluates initiatives of organizations, interorganizational networks, and industries on the frontlines of blockchain.


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